Uncover a jewel for art lovers in the Durham Dales

Durham Dales

Fall for the romantic charms of The Bowes Museum’s amazing art, quirky curiosities and fabulous contemporary exhibitions.

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Purpose built in the 19th century by husband and wife John and Joséphine Bowes, The Bowes Museum is a labour of love with a wonderful past and vibrant present. The couple created a world-class museum in John’s ancestral home of Teesdale in the Durham Dales to introduce the local people to the wider world of art.

The building is as surprising as it is impressive: a French château nestled in the historic market town of Barnard Castle, it houses internationally significant collections of fine and decorative art, with works by Canaletto, El Greco, Courbet and Turner. The life-size silver swan is a must-visit: a 240-year-old musical automaton, which plays to fascinated onlookers daily.

The Bowes Museum is in Barnard Castle, a 40-minute drive from Durham City, itself just under 3 hours from London.

Known for fantastic fashion exhibitions, The Bowes Museum always has an enticing temporary show to visit. Enjoy peaceful woodland walks and explore the impressive gardens, and indulge in an afternoon tea at award-winning Café Bowes.

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TThe Bowes Museum, Durham Dales © Visit County Durham
GGallery at The Bowes Museum, Durham Dales © Visit County Durham
TThe Silver Swan at The Bowes Museum, Durham Dales © The Bowes Museum
TThe Bowes Museum, Durham Dales © The Bowes Museum
CCafé Bowes at The Bowes Museum, Durham Dales © The Bowes Museum
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